By Rory Muir,

Book cover of Wellington: The Path to Victory 1769-1814

Book description

A landmark contribution to understanding the real man behind the heroic legend inspired by the triumph at Waterloo

The Duke of Wellington was not just Britain's greatest soldier, although his seismic struggles as leader of the Allied forces against Napoleon in the Peninsular War deservedly became the stuff of British…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Wellington as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Speaking of which, this is the first of a two-volume biography of Wellington and is no doubt the most exhaustive and the most up-to-date biography of the man and his career. I’ve personally always found Wellington to be a fairly unlikeable character and there is nothing in this biography that made me change my mind. However, Muir’s familiarity with the sources and the archives enables him to integrate the personal, the military, and the political into this thorough examination of the man that ultimately defeated Napoleon.

If Salamanca was Wellington’s masterpiece, this massive volume is Rory Muir’s. There have been many other biographies of Wellington over the past 200 years, but none of them come remotely close to equalling the analysis, knowledge, and understanding in this work. One’s only complaint is that it does not continue on from the fall of Napoleon in 1814 to cover Waterloo, this instead being looked at in a second volume that covers the second half of Wellington’s life.

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